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‘Paintings of My Life’

by JOEL MARTIN
Staff Writer | May 17, 2024 2:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — Beth Anna Margolis sees a potential painting in everything.

“You’ve got to get out there, out in the daylight, and see nature,” she said. “You have to see, and see, and see more.”

Margolis is opening her new show, called “Paintings of My Life,” at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center today. She works in a variety of media: acrylics, pastels, watercolors. She’s also written two books of poetry. And oh, yes, she has Down Syndrome.

“I became aware of her when I saw a news story that was done about another show that she had done at another gallery,” said museum Director Dollie Boyd. “And I really liked her work, and just the whole story.”

Margolis’ first book, called “Uplifted Down Syndrome,” was published in 2016. Her second book, also titled “Paintings of My Life,” will be available at the opening reception today at 4 p.m. at the museum. The show will run through June 28.

Margolis doesn’t favor themes in her work, she said. But she does like her colors strong.

“People really love my art, what I do,” she said. “They love the rich, vibrant colors. Not too dark, more light, more warm. I don't stay with just dark colors; I like to move around, moving my paintings forward.”

Her art, both originals and prints, will be for sale at the show, said her business manager and lifelong friend Laurie Riskin. The prints aren’t just poster reproductions either, Riskin said; they’re done on 100% velvet watercolor paper with archival ink so they keep their vibrancy.

Her first show was three years ago, Margolis said, and she sold 60 pieces.

“We were so astonished,” Riskin said.

“Astonished to death,” Margolis agreed.

Margolis finds much of her inspiration in her daily walks around Bellingham, where she lives. One, called “Dancing Ducks,” came from critters she saw on a walk by Bellingham Bay. Another, called “Poetry of Roots,” calls to mind the Cascade foothills and her family home near the Nooksack River.

“I like to take my art supplies while I’m walking,” she said, explaining that she stops to sketch what she sees in pencil or charcoal, then takes it home and turns it into paint.

The reception will include a free artistic event for adult attendees, Boyd said: tie-dyed bandanas, to reflect the bright colors Margolis favors.

“The use of color and line, I really love the way she observes and takes from nature,” Boyd said. “(Some) artists study for years, and some people just sort of innately have that sense.”

Joel Martin may be reached via email at jmartin@columbiabasinherald.com

‘Paintings of my Life’ by Beth Anna Margolis

Opening Reception
4-7 p.m. Friday, May 17
Moses Lake Museum & Art Center
406 S. Balsam St.
www.moseslakemuseum.com

    Beth Anna Margolis’ painting “Dancing Ducks” was inspired by the creatures she sees when she’s out walking in Bellingham, something she does just about every day.
 
 
    “Poetry of Roots” was inspired by Beth Anna Margolis’ family home near the Nooksack River, which can be seen in gray at the bottom of the painting.